We wanted to show our opposition to their owner’s cowardly & selfish decision to lay a trap for their own workers, rather than risk a fine. By joining in with the UK wide campaign we aim to hurt Byron Burgers economically and show our solidarity with ALL workers – regardless of where they are from.
The demonstration certainly had an impact, the entire time we were present (7pm-9pm on a Saturday night!) only one group of people went into the chain, and there were only a handful of deliveries. Whilst it was a ‘little’ empty inside, the entire front of the shop was taken up with protesters, who were spilling out either side in front of the neighboring (closed) shops. The response from passers by was largely positive, many reminded of the news story and talking about it as they went past after seeing us. We handed out hundreds of leaflets, only stopping near the end when we simply ran out. Meanwhile, the trouble makers down in Wessex Solidarity Continue reading
The Byron Burgers chain called dozens of their London staff to a ‘health and safety’ briefing. Instead of facing a mundane meeting, immigration officers burst into the room detaining everyone present for hours, and deporting 35 people.
After the story broke in Spanish language newspaper El Iberico a number of groups and unions including Byron workers have called for action against Byron, with hundreds taking part across the country. These workers had been at Byron for up to 4 years, helping to earn millions in profits for the investment fund owners and their offshore companies. These same owners were quick to jump at the chance to throw them under the bus to save their own skins, ruining peoples lives to avoid a fine.
We need to stand together with ALL workers, no matter where they are from. This is how we improve the lives of ordinary people, by fighting back against the corporate owners who drive down wages, dodge taxes and rip us off daily.
Meet: Outside Bristol Museum 6.45pm on Saturday 6th
Demo: From 7pm outside Byron Burgers, 62 Queens Road on the Triangle Continue reading
Upcoming events in Bristol…
Prisoner solidarity is an essential part of any activism or revolutionary action. Prisons rarely, if ever, act as a deterrent to the crimes that can threaten our communities and they are downright counterproductive when its comes to ‘rehabilitation’ further oppressing and alienating people. Meanwhile the rich folks who start wars, exploit workers, destroy the environment or profit from our misery? Highly unlikely they’ll ever see the inside of a cell.
What Prisons do well is help to control the poor, marginalised, desperate, and anyone trying to take a stand and change society. The rate of this repression can vary immensely over time and place. When the state is feeling particularly vicious – or the resistance to it is looking particularly effective – you get widespread arrests and detention, such as Operation Pandora in Spain, and more recently Operation Phoenix in the Czech Republic. Continue reading
Cameron remains in Downing Street, now with a majority (having successfully cannibalized his former LibDem partners). A lot of people are understandably depressed by this, and now to top it all off Farage hasn’t even resigned. FFS politics, give us a break. We don’t have much say in what policies they try and force upon us – after all we had ‘Vote Tory for capitalism and austerity’ and ‘Vote Labour for the same, only a bit less and our heart isn’t really in it’. What we DO have a say in, is how we react to them.
Reaction One: Voter Apathy
Non voters are often accused of apathy, but if after going to the ballot on the 7th you are planning to sit back and do nothing for five years than you are being truly apathetic. Of course the same is true if ‘not voting’ is the sum total of your protest against the system. Maybe to kill time before the next general election you can try to change Labour from the inside, or help the Greens get half a dozen MPs early next decade. If you’re really inspired maybe you could put your energy into reforming how we vote for our ‘representatives’. Although many countries use other systems and they still aren’t socialist utopias yet either. Lets get one thing clear though, would Ed Milliband be screwing us over aswell? Hell yes.
Reaction Two: Fight for What We Have, Fight for What We Need
We are often presented a doctored version of history. One where the oppressed asked the government nicely for reforms, where they appealed to their ruler’s reason and conscience, or simply voted in nicer leaders.
A closer inspection reveals a very different narrative, where everything we have was fought for tooth and nail. Where workers faced down the army for the right to have the evening off rather than work 14 hour days, where women bombed pavilions and learnt martial arts before they were recognised as capable of decisions, where people faced down battalions of police who were trying to force a fascist march through the east end of London. It is the latter telling of history that should inform how we react today.
Everything we have we fought for, and everything we fought for they want back. As soon as we stop fighting – in our work places, in our communities, in the streets and in the fields – we will lose everything. The good news? If you want to take action there are plenty ways to do it. Here are just a few based on some Tory policies.
On Saturday some Bristol AFed members and friends took the streets to express our Solidarity with the Ferguson, Mo. Since their community rose up to protest the police murder of an unarmed teenager, Mike Brown and the racist harassment they have suffered for years, they face near total repression at the hands of a militarised police force. We came out to add our voice in solidarity, and to amplify their views and their voice. The strength shown in resisting both the crack down and the attempts at pacification from politicians and self declared leaders has been inspiring. Continue reading
When members of the “Angry Foxes Cell” burnt down the almost complete Police Firearms Training Centre in Portishead near Bristol, it took a lot of people by surprise, ourselves included. This week the Bristol Post published an article on a report by Avon & Somerset Police with the Stalinesque title “Our Five Year Ambition”. The Posts front page ran the Headline “Targeting the Enemy Within.” This was followed up by a comment from the editor singling out anarchists and drumming up public support for their increased oppression.
Bristol was awash with a sea of red & black flags today as anarchists, radicals and trade unionists took to the streets for May Day. Four hundred people descended on College Green for a march and rally organised by Bristol Trades Council to commemorate International Worker’s Day (May1st). A large Radical Block we called that was made up of members of Bristol Anarchist Federation, Solidarity Federation, IWW and other revolutionaries numbering around 50 were present from the beginning handing out leaflets about the true origin of May Day.
As the march began the Radical Block took position near the front of the procession. The demonstration snaked out of College Green and down Park Street towards the Fountains as chants rung out from the block. There were some old favourites in there as well as a few new ones including a variation of “Solidarity Forever” called “Aristocracy Forever”.
Since forming the Pret a Manger Staff Union earlier this year, Andrej and a number of other workplace activists have faced a campaign of harassment and victimisation from management. For Andrej, this has reached a point where he has been sacked on trumped-up disciplinary charges. His final appeal hearing against the decision will occur on Thursday the 29th of November at 2:00pm.
In an effort to show solidarity to Andrej and PAMSU, we are requesting that supporters:
Please bombard Pret’s Facebook page with messages in support of Andrej: http://www.facebook.com/pretamanger
Feel free to post up this youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey2PAGB29B8
If you’re on Twitter, please tweet and re-tweet the following message throughout the day:
“@Pret Reinstate Andrej! Stop Union-Busting at Pret a Manger! More information: www.pamsu.org Please re-tweet!!! #PAMSU” (also @pret_menu)
Action supported and endorsed by the North London Solidarity Federation, The Alliance for Workers Liberty, and Radical Islington.
spurred on by the condem government the management of NHS trusts across the south-west have spent £200,000 forming the Orwellian sounding ‘South West Pay Terms and Conditions Consortium’. with the sole aim of lowering pay and conditions for NHS staff. This could be yet another blow to our NHS services already battered by cuts and privatisation, attacks on the staff will always negatively impact on the services they provide.
So far staff have been kept completely out of the loop, they haven’t been told who will be affected or in what ways, but many fear the management will attempt to split the workforce by targeting small groups one at a time. However they plan on standing together and after some packed meetings (with 100s present at each) have called for a demonstration in Bristol to show their strength.
We encourage anyone who wants to stand up to the state, fight austerity and protect the NHS to march in solidarity with them. We’ll be there, hope to see you on the streets!
Saturday 1st of December 11am
College Green marching to castle park (rally at 12.30).